Image of woman at a machine

To continue the great strides toward eliminating pediatric disease, it is essential that each generation include men and women who are committed to basic and clinical research. The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute provides opportunities for undergraduates and high school students to gain hands-on research experiences with the hope that it will encourage them to pursue careers in laboratory or clinical sciences.

Students interested in seeking internships or student employment at the CHOP Research Institute should first review the investigator profiles to identify researchers who may be doing research that they find interesting. One way to search would be to use keyword terms such as “cancer” or “sickle cell” to get a list of researchers working in those fields. Contact an investigator directly to learn more about possible unpaid internships or paid student employment and the investigator's research program. You may also want to browse the Hospital job search tool, as internship opportunities are sometimes listed.

Students, whether paid or not, and other individuals such as academic collaborators, research interns and work-study students, must be registered formally through the Non-traditional Research Personnel (NTP) program. Registration, begun by the sponsoring Children's Hospital investigator, includes completing occupational health and training requirements. This assures that all members of the research community receive training in pertinent aspects of the HIPAA law regarding maintenance of confidentiality in handling private medical and personal information; other aspects of human subjects protection; and orientation to the research process, environment and restrictions for which each NTP is responsible.

Summer students at the CHOP Research Institute may participate in a weekly seminar program that aims to introduce students to the research and career paths of some of CHOP’s most successful clinical and basic science researchers. The Summer Student Research Colloquium provides students with the opportunity to experience CHOP Research first hand at weekly, one-hour interactive classroom “chalk talk” format.

Headed by Joshua Friedman, MD, PhD, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, the weekly sessions cover topics like experimental design and variables; in vitro cell models for handling, isolation and analysis; microscopy and microscopic visualization; measuring gene expression; evaluating transcription; experimental gene expression; measuring and making proteins; and clinical research.

For more information and a schedule of faculty presenters and topics, see the research newsletter, Bench to Bedside and the elevator notice boards.